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SF 790

1st Engrossment - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 02/23/2017 10:16am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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A bill for an act
relating to state lands; exempting certain tax-forfeited lands from the prohibition
on their sale; modifying timber sale provisions for tax-forfeited lands;amending
Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 282.018, subdivision 1; 282.04, subdivision 1.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 282.018, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Land on or adjacent to public waters.

(a) All land which is the property
of the state as a result of forfeiture to the state for nonpayment of taxes, regardless of whether
the land is held in trust for taxing districts, and which borders on or is adjacent to meandered
lakes and other public waters and watercourses, and the live timber growing or being thereon,
is hereby withdrawn from sale except as hereinafter provided. The authority having
jurisdiction over the timber on any such of these lands may sell the timber as otherwise
provided by law for cutting and removal under such the conditions as the authority may
prescribe in accordance with approved, sustained yield forestry practices. The authority
having jurisdiction over the timber shall reserve such the timber and impose such the
conditions as the authority deems necessary for the protection of watersheds, wildlife habitat,
shorelines, and scenic features. Within the area in Cook, Lake, and St. Louis counties
described in the Act of Congress approved July 10, 1930 (46 Stat. 1020), the timber on
tax-forfeited lands shall be subject to like restrictions as are now imposed by that act on
federal lands.

(b) Of all tax-forfeited land bordering on or adjacent to meandered lakes and other public
waters and watercourses and so withdrawn from sale, a strip two rods in width, the ordinary
high-water mark being the waterside boundary thereof, and the land side boundary thereof
being a line drawn parallel to the ordinary high-water mark and two rods distant landward
therefrom, hereby is reserved for public travel thereon, and whatever the conformation of
the shore line or conditions require, the authority having jurisdiction over such these lands
shall reserve a wider strip for such these purposes.

(c) Any tract or parcel of land which has 150 feet or less of waterfront may be sold by
the authority having jurisdiction over the land, in the manner otherwise provided by law
for the sale of such the lands, if the authority determines that it is in the public interest to
do so. Any tract or parcel of land within a plat of record bordering on or adjacent to
meandered lakes and other public waters and watercourses may be sold by the authority
having jurisdiction over the land, in the manner otherwise provided by law for the sale of
the lands, if the authority determines that it is in the public interest to do so.
If the authority
having jurisdiction over the land is not the commissioner of natural resources, the land may
not be offered for sale without the prior approval of the commissioner of natural resources.

(d) Where the authority having jurisdiction over lands withdrawn from sale under this
section is not the commissioner of natural resources, the authority may submit proposals
for disposition of the lands to the commissioner. The commissioner of natural resources
shall evaluate the lands and their public benefits and make recommendations on the proposed
dispositions to the committees of the legislature with jurisdiction over natural resources.
The commissioner shall include any recommendations of the commissioner for disposition
of lands withdrawn from sale under this section over which the commissioner has jurisdiction.
The commissioner's recommendations may include a public sale, sale to a private party,
acquisition by the Department of Natural Resources for public purposes, or a cooperative
management agreement with, or transfer to, another unit of government.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 282.04, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Timber sales; land leases and uses.

(a) The county auditor, with terms
and conditions set by the county board, may sell timber upon any tract that may be approved
by the natural resources commissioner. The sale of timber shall be made for cash at not less
than the appraised value determined by the county board to the highest bidder after not less
than one week's published notice in an official paper within the county. Any timber offered
at the public sale and not sold may thereafter be sold at private sale by the county auditor
at not less than the appraised value thereof, until the time as the county board may withdraw
the timber from sale. The appraised value of the timber and the forestry practices to be
followed in the cutting of said timber shall be approved by the commissioner of natural
resources.

(b) Payment of the full sale price of all timber sold on tax-forfeited lands shall be made
in cash at the time of the timber sale, except in the case of oral or sealed bid auction sales,
the down payment shall be no less than 15 percent of the appraised value, and the balance
shall be paid prior to entry. In the case of auction sales that are partitioned and sold as a
single sale with predetermined cutting blocks, the down payment shall be no less than 15
percent of the appraised price of the entire timber sale which may be held until the satisfactory
completion of the sale or applied in whole or in part to the final cutting block. The value of
each separate block must be paid in full before any cutting may begin in that block. With
the permission of the county contract administrator the purchaser may enter unpaid blocks
and cut necessary timber incidental to developing logging roads as may be needed to log
other blocks provided that no timber may be removed from an unpaid block until separately
scaled and paid for. If payment is provided as specified in this paragraph as security under
paragraph (a) and no cutting has taken place on the contract, the county auditor may credit
the security provided, less any down payment required for an auction sale under this
paragraph, to any other contract issued to the contract holder by the county under this chapter
to which the contract holder requests in writing that it be credited, provided the request and
transfer is made within the same calendar year as the security was received.

(c) The county board may sell any timber, including biomass, as appraised or scaled.
Any parcels of land from which timber is to be sold by scale of cut products shall be so
designated in the published notice of sale under paragraph (a), in which case the notice shall
contain a description of the parcels, a statement of the estimated quantity of each species
of timber, and the appraised price of each species of timber for 1,000 feet, per cord or per
piece, as the case may be. In those cases any bids offered over and above the appraised
prices shall be by percentage, the percent bid to be added to the appraised price of each of
the different species of timber advertised on the land. The purchaser of timber from the
parcels shall pay in cash at the time of sale at the rate bid for all of the timber shown in the
notice of sale as estimated to be standing on the land, and in addition shall pay at the same
rate for any additional amounts which the final scale shows to have been cut or was available
for cutting on the land at the time of sale under the terms of the sale. Where the final scale
of cut products shows that less timber was cut or was available for cutting under terms of
the sale than was originally paid for, the excess payment shall be refunded from the forfeited
tax sale fund upon the claim of the purchaser, to be audited and allowed by the county board
as in case of other claims against the county. No timber, except hardwood pulpwood, may
be removed from the parcels of land or other designated landings until scaled by a person
or persons designated by the county board and approved by the commissioner of natural
resources. Landings other than the parcel of land from which timber is cut may be designated
for scaling by the county board by written agreement with the purchaser of the timber. The
county board may, by written agreement with the purchaser and with a consumer designated
by the purchaser when the timber is sold by the county auditor, and with the approval of
the commissioner of natural resources, accept the consumer's scale of cut products delivered
at the consumer's landing. No timber shall be removed until fully paid for in cash. Small
amounts of timber not exceeding $3,000 500 cords in appraised valuation volume may be
sold for not less than the full appraised value at private sale to individual persons without
first publishing notice of sale or calling for bids, provided that in case of a sale involving a
total appraised value of more than $200 the sale shall be made subject to final settlement
on the basis of a scale of cut products in the manner above provided and not more than two
of the sales, directly or indirectly to any individual shall be in effect at one time.

(d) As directed by the county board, the county auditor may lease tax-forfeited land to
individuals, corporations or organized subdivisions of the state at public or private sale, and
at the prices and under the terms as the county board may prescribe, for use as cottage and
camp sites and for agricultural purposes and for the purpose of taking and removing of hay,
stumpage, sand, gravel, clay, rock, marl, and black dirt from the land, and for garden sites
and other temporary uses provided that no leases shall be for a period to exceed ten years;
provided, further that any leases involving a consideration of more than $12,000 per year,
except to an organized subdivision of the state shall first be offered at public sale in the
manner provided herein for sale of timber. Upon the sale of any leased land, it shall remain
subject to the lease for not to exceed one year from the beginning of the term of the lease.
Any rent paid by the lessee for the portion of the term cut off by the cancellation shall be
refunded from the forfeited tax sale fund upon the claim of the lessee, to be audited and
allowed by the county board as in case of other claims against the county.

(e) As directed by the county board, the county auditor may lease tax-forfeited land to
individuals, corporations, or organized subdivisions of the state at public or private sale, at
the prices and under the terms as the county board may prescribe, for the purpose of taking
and removing for use for road construction and other purposes tax-forfeited stockpiled
iron-bearing material. The county auditor must determine that the material is needed and
suitable for use in the construction or maintenance of a road, tailings basin, settling basin,
dike, dam, bank fill, or other works on public or private property, and that the use would
be in the best interests of the public. No lease shall exceed ten years. The use of a stockpile
for these purposes must first be approved by the commissioner of natural resources. The
request shall be deemed approved unless the requesting county is notified to the contrary
by the commissioner of natural resources within six months after receipt of a request for
approval for use of a stockpile. Once use of a stockpile has been approved, the county may
continue to lease it for these purposes until approval is withdrawn by the commissioner of
natural resources.

(f) The county auditor, with the approval of the county board is authorized to grant
permits, licenses, and leases to tax-forfeited lands for the depositing of stripping, lean ores,
tailings, or waste products from mines or ore milling plants, or to use for facilities needed
to recover iron-bearing oxides from tailings basins or stockpiles, or for a buffer area needed
for a mining operation, upon the conditions and for the consideration and for the period of
time, not exceeding 25 years, as the county board may determine. The permits, licenses, or
leases are subject to approval by the commissioner of natural resources.

(g) Any person who removes any timber from tax-forfeited land before said timber has
been scaled and fully paid for as provided in this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(h) The county auditor may, with the approval of the county board, and without first
offering at public sale, grant leases, for a term not exceeding 25 years, for the removal of
peat and for the production or removal of farm-grown closed-loop biomass as defined in
section 216B.2424, subdivision 1, or short-rotation woody crops from tax-forfeited lands
upon the terms and conditions as the county board may prescribe. Any lease for the removal
of peat, farm-grown closed-loop biomass, or short-rotation woody crops from tax-forfeited
lands must first be reviewed and approved by the commissioner of natural resources if the
lease covers 320 or more acres. No lease for the removal of peat, farm-grown closed-loop
biomass, or short-rotation woody crops shall be made by the county auditor pursuant to this
section without first holding a public hearing on the auditor's intention to lease. One printed
notice in a legal newspaper in the county at least ten days before the hearing, and posted
notice in the courthouse at least 20 days before the hearing shall be given of the hearing.

(i) Notwithstanding any provision of paragraph (c) to the contrary, the St. Louis County
auditor may, at the discretion of the county board, sell timber to the party who bids the
highest price for all the several kinds of timber, as provided for sales by the commissioner
of natural resources under section 90.14. Bids offered over and above the appraised price
need not be applied proportionately to the appraised price of each of the different species
of timber.

(j) In lieu of any payment or deposit required in paragraph (b), as directed by the county
board and under terms set by the county board, the county auditor may accept an irrevocable
bank letter of credit in the amount equal to the amount otherwise determined in paragraph
(b). If an irrevocable bank letter of credit is provided under this paragraph, at the written
request of the purchaser, the county may periodically allow the bank letter of credit to be
reduced by an amount proportionate to the value of timber that has been harvested and for
which the county has received payment. The remaining amount of the bank letter of credit
after a reduction under this paragraph must not be less than 20 percent of the value of the
timber purchased. If an irrevocable bank letter of credit or cash deposit is provided for the
down payment required in paragraph (b), and no cutting of timber has taken place on the
contract for which a letter of credit has been provided, the county may allow the transfer
of the letter of credit to any other contract issued to the contract holder by the county under
this chapter to which the contract holder requests in writing that it be credited.

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